A MAN will face a murder trial after aspiring lawyer Zara Aleena was allegedly dragged into a driveway and killed, a court heard.
Jordan McSweeney, 29, will stand trial for murder, as well as attempted rape and robbery before the end of the year, a High Court judge has decided.
Zara Aleena, 35, was yards from her house in Ilford, East London, when she was beaten to death as she walked home from a night out, a court heard.
The alleged murder happened about around 2.45am on June 26.
McSweeney, from Church Elm Lane, Dagenham, east London, is accused of robbing her of her mobile phone, keys and handbag, and attempting to rape her.
The defendant failed to attend the Old Bailey for his scheduled plea hearing today.
Mrs Justice Cheema-Grubb fixed a trial to start at the Old Bailey on December 5.
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The senior judge adjourned the plea hearing until Monday October 24 with McSweeney remaining in police custody.
Back in July the Old Bailey heard how Zara was discovered with serious head injuries and partially clothed after the horror attack.
The court was told emergency crews were scrambled to Cranbrook Road after Zara's body was discovered.
A post-mortem examination found she had suffered multiple serious injuries.
Her screams woke up nearby residents, who called 999, it was said.
Prosecutor Oliver Glasgow QC added: "Police and paramedics attended and attempted to give life saving first aid to her but the injuries that she had sustained… were so severe that nothing could be done to save her."
During the attack, Ms Aleena was dragged into a driveway in Cranbrook Road, where she was kicked and stamped on, prosecutors alleged.
Zara was an aspiring lawyer who had just started working at the Royal Courts of Justice.
Her death sparked outrage following the stranger murders of Sabina Nessa and Sarah Everard in London as they walked home.
Zara's family had paid tribute to her in a heart-breaking statement following her death.
Her family added: "Zara, 35, a beloved human, child, niece, cousin, granddaughter, friend to all, she was a joy to all of us.
"She was a carer for her mother, and her grandmother. Caring for others came so naturally to her.
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"Zara was friendly, she was everybody's friend. She was everybody's daughter, everybody's niece, everybody's sister, everybody's cousin. She was pure of heart.
"She was a joy to all of us, her sparkling eyes and the curly, jet-black hair. Her glorious laughter and her sweet, smiling voice. Her tiny frame embodied a passionate spirit and indomitable energy."
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